Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili issuing a stove and a 5 litres to a Kisumu County resident during the launch of of the clean cooking program at Ofafa Memorial Hall
Kisumu County in partnership with Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK) and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation Kicked off the County Clean Cooking sensitization program with the official launch led by Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili at the Ofafa Memorial hall.
The initiative targeting Health workers, community health workers (CHWs) and People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) across the county was hosted by Kisumu East and central Sub counties with the distribution of Gel Stoves and Fuel. The program is planned to roll out to other Sub Counties, with set Ojola to host Kisumu west and Seme Sub County and Ahero to host Nyakach, Nyando and Muhoroni Sub Counties.
In his speech, the deputy governor on behalf of Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o recognized Sustainable Energy as an enabler to all aspects of development including access to Health, Water, Agricultural productivity, Industrial productivity, Education and other vital services which improve the quality of life, adding that the CIDP II and Governors 10 point outlines transformative agenda committed to promoting access to reliable, sustainable and affordable energy for Kisumu County residents in contribution to the realization of universal access to energy for all and Vision 2030.
Dr. Owili raised concern that up to 79.6% of households in Kisumu still uses unclean fuels including use of firewood at 49.6%, Charcoal-22.2%, and Paraffin-7.8% and that effects of Climate Change will continue to ravage the communities, according to the Kenya Population & Housing Census report, in 2019.
The Deputy Governor implored the community to consider the need to switch to alternative clean sources such as the use of Solar, Biogas, Briquettes, Ethanol, Gel and other technologies for domestic, industrial cooking and heating applications to reduce per capita wood fuel consumption and further reduce the household emissions of carbon emission.
To support this effort, the County Government of Kisumu recently procured 280 Gel Stoves and 1,400 liters of Gel fuel for distribution to members of communities. The initiative targeted Health Workers to be the beneficiaries of the first phase of distribution because of their role of daily interaction with community members.
The project is supported by CCAK and SNV world with the aim of sensitizing communities, and especially vulnerable women, on the need to embrace clean cooking, while prescribing clean cooking as a viable entrepreneurship venture. This initiative is expected to lead to a change of affirmative funding policy for women undertaking energy projects and economic empowerment.
The Deputy Governor also stressed on the importance of keeping up protective measures against the COVID-19 stating that the rate of infection in Kisumu County is currently at 300%. He called on residents not to throw the ball and ensure safety precautions by keeping social distance, sanitizing and masking up.
The CEC Member for Energy and Industrialization Mr. George Okong’o called on resident to embrace clean cooking initiative stating that the shift to clean cooking can improve health, reduce toxic air pollution, increase productivity and protect the environment.
CCAK Director, Mr David Njungi stated that CCAK focuses on ensuring clean cooking solutions which will lead to a 90% drop in health impacts, improve livelihoods and to mitigate climate change in Kenya.
CCAK and SNV world are non-profit development organizations in the clean cooking sector with the aim of creating awareness, engagement, and support for clean cooking.
The event was also graced by County Chief Officer for Energy and Industrialization Engineer Daniel Okia, representatives from SNV world and Flexi Biogas, Practical Action East Africa and a host of county officials.